Odisha deserves equal share at par with North Eastern, Himalayan states: Naveen

New Delhi: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said reiterated his demand for Special Category Status to the state at the meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

He said the state deserves the same sharing pattern at par with North Eastern and Himalayan states.

Informing that Odisha has a high percentage of population below poverty line, he said it deserves the same sharing pattern at par with North Eastern and Himalayan States.

This demand, he added, is in line with the Punchhi Commission recommendations for higher Central transfers to backward states for improving their physical and social infrastructure.

The Chief Minister also stated that the benefit of the effect of increased devolution of Central Taxes from 32 per cent to 42 per cent has been largely offset by several policy decisions of the union government including delinking of eight centrally sponsored schemes.

He added that Odisha faces natural disasters every alternate year causing huge damage to the state’s resources.

He highlighted that the geographical vulnerability of the state should be considered in the process of allocation of resources to Odisha so that disaster mitigation is adequately addressed.

Patnaik expressed his hope that NITI Aayog will address the concerns of the states in general and of Odisha in particular in the true spirit of co-operative federalism and treat all states as equal partners in the furtherance of National Development Agenda.